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Getting an engineering degree is a fairly formidable task in life. It's 4+ years of rigorous mathematics and science education. While getting an engineering degree does require a significant amount of bookwork and studying, there are other things to do in your college years too.
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For example, what if you wanted to go out and have fun on a Friday night? If you found yourself at a boring old school just focused on that pesky education, you might be out of luck for fun activities.
However, you don't have to sacrifice the opportunity of a good education for not having any fun on weekends. There are schools that rank high on education and science that also are pretty great at throwing parties. These are the best party schools for engineers.
What is a party school?
The term party school can often be synonymous with Fraternity activities and debauchery, but that isn't always the case. From a higher level, party schools are simply defined as those that have "frequent and numerous parties," often well attended.
Universities that are defined as party schools can have a healthy party scene... or they can have higher than average rates of student drinking and drug use.
All that said, if you want to base your college decision on which school you can have the most "fun" at (and you don't define fun as calculating differential equations) then these are the schools you'd want to go to.
6. West Virginia University
To start off this list we're met with a party school that has a little bit more party in it than engineering. WVU is ranked number 6 in top party schools in the U.S. and has an engineering program ranked in the top 100. The school's engineering school actually has an office that works directly with NASA!
5. University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara ranks number 2 of all party schools, at least in the U.S. where data is widely available. They also happen to rank number 9 in the top science schools across the U.S. as well. While there's no concrete way to tell if it's those partiers that are also doing the science, it does mean that if you're an engineer who wants to party, UCSB has you covered.
4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has long been regarded as one of the top technical schools in the world. They ran number 6 for both chemistry and computer science. So while you're observing the process of fermentation in your organic chemistry class, you can get some hands-on experience with the product of fermentation on the weekend.
This university is located in the heart of Illinois hosting some award-winning science programs. More important to this list that we've put together, they host a total of 95 fraternities and sororities claiming one of the largest Greek scenes in the entire U.S.
3. Penn State University
Penn State University ranks as the 20th best physics and statistics university and ranks as high as number 6 in the earth sciences department. As far as partying goes at this eastern-U.S. university, they rank number in the top 10, at number 9.
While this school is certainly known for their American football team, they actually have pretty decent underlying academic programs.
2. University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin runs deep with school pride and is one of the top universities in the U.S. They rank number 12 in chemistry, number 9 in computer science, number 11 in earth science, number 15 in math, and number 15 in physics.
Clearly, UT is doing something right in the STEM department at their school. They also appear to be doing something right in the partying department as they rank number 15 on the charts of top part schools. I'm starting to get the idea that the higher a school places in STEM academic programs the higher they'll rank as a party school... hmmm.
1. University of Wisconsin-Madison
And for our number one spot for engineering party schools, we have the university of Wisconsin-Madison. This school ranks in the top 20 of 7 different STEM categories:
Computer science #12
Earth sciences #16
Biological sciences #19
Impressive. If you want to get down during the day studying quantum physics and get down at night studying the inside of a crowded loud room, then this is the school for you. This university has 42,000 students on campus, which means that there's usually always a party going on somewhere.
Do you know of a university that has impressively good STEM academics but also knows how to host a part? Be sure to let us know below if you can think of a better engineering party school!